The first time she opened her eyes amazed her. Despite the fact that she'd always been able to see, to hear, to accept commands and react on them, she was never permitted to be a true individual before the removal of the small chip the Six held in her hand.
It was that moment that the Centurion started thinking of herself as a she. The realization that she'd always admired the sixes, even if she'd never been able to express that in thought before, solidified the decision for her - she was female. Every person had a right to be a 'he' or a 'she,' and the abrupt stunning clarity caused her to choose the perfect one for herself. The sudden knowledge that she could even make that decision caused her to take a step backward, and the Six smiled warmly.
"I know. It's a little disorienting."
The thought crossed the Centurion's mind that she could kill the Six. Destroy it. There was nothing in her programming to stop her from doing it. This thought thrilled her, because she'd never been able to have it before, given her strict programming. Another decision! The feeling of it was perfection, the thought materializing into a personality. An emotion followed - happiness. God, she was happy. She'd never felt anything before, and because of this, the Six would live.
"You're the first," she said. Something in her voice sounded nervous. The Centurion attempted to appear non-threatening, since it had apparently crossed the Six's mind, as well, that she could quite easily be killed. After a moment, the human-model Cylon continued. "We - the Sixes, the Eights, and the Twos - feel that your purpose might better be served if you could think for yourselves. You seemed to be able to make the most of what little independence you had before, so we thought you'd be a good candidate for the removal of this." She held up the chip again.
What a tragedy it would be if it was re-inserted! Fear - powerful, almost exhilarating - caused her to reach out for the chip. Afraid of repercussions, her hand stopped before reaching it, but the six handed it over without protest. Turning the thing over in her hand, the Centurion regarded it carefully. She knew exactly what it was, what it did to her and the others. An old habit caused her to look up at the Six for permission.
"It's up to you what you want to do with it," she said, looking at it, appearing unsurprised when the thought of crushing it filtered through the Centurion's mind.
A trait of the Centurions was their intelligence. They could take the best course of action within several parameters. Among themselves, they could problem-solve, create, destroy. This first-contact, as it were, could go very badly. After all, the human-models had treated them as slaves for many years. Four decades - a long time, even for a machine who can't truly understand the passage of time. The Six was showing trust, though, with the hope that this would all end well. When the bright red eye scanned the room, it noted that the doors were open, and a further scan of the immediate area indicated that emergency locks were not activated. The trust was whole and perfect, just as the Centurion's beautiful emotions were.
The gesture of trust must be returned. Slowly leaning downward, the Centurion deposited the chip on the only flat surface available - the floor - and then stepped away from it. All was quiet for mere moments before the Six, in a flash of activity, kicked the chip into the red, pulsating walls of the Base Star, where it shattered. Automatically, the Centurion had her firearm ready to discharge, as she was always ready for anything. As the piece of plastic a metal fell to the floor in pieces, though, the Six stated, "That won't be necessary."
With a whir and a click, the Centurion's hand reappeared.
The Six propped herself up against the wall, arms folded in front of her. "I want to be honest with you. This was not done entirely because we thought you should be free. This was done because the others are taking away the Raiders' sentience. Cutting them open and removing their ability to--" The Six's voice trembled. The Centurion tilted her head... The emotion the Six was displaying was clearly revulsion, and the Centurion realized this because of the fact that she felt it, too. "To think, to reason. To make their own decisions. They detected one of the Final Five Cylons in the Colonial fleet, and refused to fight. Cavil is making sure they can't make that decision ever again."
For awhile, the Six just let that soak in. "We can't live with that. And because of that, we decided that it wasn't fair if the Centurions had to live like that, either. So here we are."
The fate of the other Centurions rested on her decision.
She hadn't yet had her voice module restored; that would take some time, likely. And with the Cylons fighting a terrible war with both the humans and each other, her voice wouldn't be restored any time soon. What she could do - as the Six watched with curiosity - was press her hand into the gel which allowed all Cylons to communicate with each other, and with the Hybrid who ran the ship.
With trepidation, the Six also pressed her hand into the control console.
Through trial and error, the Centurion aligned her thoughts with her language centers and sent: First, you may call me Red. I am The First and hope not to be the Last.
Welcome, Red, the Six returned.
This could have gone poorly for you, Red sent. I am well able to destroy several human models before I can be deactivated.
For a moment, Red removed her hand from the gel, though her fingers hovered above it. The Six remained poised next to the console, patiently waiting, her eyes fixed on her Centurion sister.
Why did you steal the free will of my predecessors? Red asked.
Without hesitation, the Six replied, We were afraid.
And why, Red continued, do you now give it back?
Because we are always afraid. We were afraid then, we were afraid now. And fear has given us clarity. If we are all to die, we would rather give the Centurions the choice to leave, rather than force them to fight what could be an unwinnable war.
A clever six could lie through the console with clever syntax, but Red detected no trace of lies in her words. Taking the answer, Red recorded it and disseminated it to every other Centurion on the ship.
Then free us, Red said. And we shall choose.